HTC One Review- The best smartphone on the planet

After consecutive quarter losses, HTC did some thing fantastic with its recent flagship HTC One. The smartphone comes with rich set of features and HTC completely revamped its strategy and came up with a fresh idea, which helped to overcome all the previous losses. The HTC One is the only available smartphone, which can easily compete with Samsung Galaxy S4. HTC packs all the premium specs into the sleek all metal unibody shell, there is no more words to say about built quality, it’s just awesome. Not only the built quality but also HTC One brings tons of new features to the table. Lets find full features in our detailed HTC One review.

1. Design and Engineering
2. Box Contents
3. Hardware
4. Software
5. Camera
6. Benchmark Results
7. Battery Life
8. Pricing & Availability
9. Verdict

Design and Engineering :

HTC One is possibly the best Android powered smartphone till date. I was previously worked with almost all the top end devices but i didn’t see a solid smartphone in Android eco-system, which is not the same case in iOS and Windows Phone eco-systems. These two eco-systems having solidly constructed devices since couple of years. Even lately debuted Windows Phone eco-system also have best designed smartphones from various OEMs. HTC is the one of the Windows Phone OEM, which was announced the best designed HTC Windows Phone 8X. Later, they were came up with beautiful Butterfly with solid build quality. Finally, one device after huge losses pushed the company at safe side is nothing but HTC One. The best smartphone in Android history. Unlike Samsung devices, HTC gone with all metal unibody construction and they were chosen ideal 4.7-inch screen size to easily operate with one hand.

The beautiful 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display arranged into the all metal unibody chassis and HTC added BoomSound speakers at top and bottom of the screen, since the speakers placed at front, you can experience the best audio performance so far in any smartphone. Rather than using three capacitive touch buttons, HTC gone with just two button formulae – Home & Back, between that you will have HTC logo, it looks like a button but it can’t do any actions. You will find front camera at top right and at left side, there are bunch of sensors to do respective tasks.

Coming to the rear side, you will have 4 MP Ultra Pixel camera with LED flash. In middle, there is HTC logo and below of that, you will have a stylish beats audio logo and some FCC labels. At top, it has 3.5mm audio jack and power/lock button, since HTC integrated IR Blaster into the power button, it actually doubles the functionality by supporting as the TV remote control. At bottom, it has a micro USB slimport for charging and syncing. Next to it, you will find a primary micro phone. At right side, you will find volume rocker and left side, it has SIM port, which can be ejectable with dedicated SIM eject tool. One final word i have to say here, HTC One is the premiumly constructed device i have ever seen in my entire life.


Box Contents :

The HTC One box comes with basic stuff like USB charger, guides & safety information, SIM eject tool and couple of HTC logos to stick. HTC has included Beats audio headset.
Hardware :

Since it is the flagship Android powered device, HTC tried to put almost all the available top end specs. The slim unibody chassis does have the space to accept a 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, it makes insane ~469 PPI. The whole display covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 2 so it is scratch proof and it is able to protect the display from accidental hittings. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600 chipset with Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 CPUs, which is backed up by 2 gigs of RAM and to decrease the graphical load on processor HTC added a powerful Adreno 320 GPU, it can easily handle the highly graphical intended games. The device running on Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) with Sense 5.0 on top and the device does come with 32GB internal storage but it can’t be expandable externally.

On the other hand, HTC just did beautiful by adding the unfamiliar Ultra Pixel camera. HTC One has 4MP Ultra Pixel camera with LED flash. Unfortunately, there is no Xenon flash to improve the low-light photo quality. The device also features rich set of connectivity options like 4G LTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, NFC (market dependent) etc. A 2300mAh battery drops juice to up and running the device throughout a day.


Software :

I was not huge fan for previous iterations of Sense UI because it was customized heavily by HTC and even you can’t say that the device running on Android. Due to the heavy customizations by HTC, it was significantly decreased the overall system performance so HTC was decided to go with a fresh look and new UI. In the result, the new Sense 5.0 has debuted along with HTC One. I was impressed a lot with new UI and with its performance. It actually increases the over all performance of the device rather than decreasing, which is welcome addition. The system’s raw processing power also been helped for instant response. HTC uses new Roboto font to utilize the massive 469 DPI, the font looks just awesome on this high-resolution display.

Apart from smoother UI, HTC invented BlinkFeed and HTC Zoe features as a part of Sense 5.0. BlinkFeed becomes part of the home screens, it can’t be removable even if you want. BlinkFeed is nothing but news aggregator, it will aggregate all your news and social activities and displays it on your dedicated Blinkfeed home pane. The fly view transition effect is eye-candy, it will appear while you scrolling for next page within the BlinkFeed. The same effect you can see in Gallery. You will have Topics and Services option to choose desired news services. HTC has collaborated with multiple news providers to serve their news for BlinkFeed. It’s just works like Flipboard so some people may like it, some people can’t so its based on your opinion. For me, it is helpful to see all the content at one place even i can see all my information without entering into the particular app, which saves lot of time for me.

HTC Zoe is another significant feature under the software customization. It allow users to take 3 secs video clips called Zoe, actually it is not the 3sec video clip, it is combination of multiple high resolution photos so you will have option to pick a frame from that clip. More over, it records the video before you hit shutter button so you never miss any moment, especially when you shooting fast moving objects. Another significant feature is Video highlights means it will combine all your photos and Zoes which are present in Gallery and automatically makes a small 30 sec video clip so you no need to work separately to make a special video, just you can instantly upload it to YouTube. For me, All three exclusive features from HTC are usable, i had lot of fun with these and Video Highlights feature saves lot of time for me.

HTC took right decision by re-designing the Sense UI. It helps a lot to get system faster. Thanks to the software customizations by HTC. The exclusive features are added more value to the HTC One.

Camera :

HTC really took a daring decision when comes to the camera department. HTC One packs a 4MP Ultra Pixels camera with LED flash on back. The fancy term Ultra Pixel catches the lot of attention, HTC really done remarkable job by adding Ultra Pixel camera rather than a traditional Mega Pixel one. It does bring lot of functionality to the table, the sensor is more powerful especially in low-light. I have experienced the best low-light performance by using fancy Ultra Pixel camera. Due to its larger 2µm Pixels it is capable to take nearly 300% more light than current generation Mega Pixel sensors. In the result, Ultra Pixel camera producing top-notch shots in low-light, the recent software updates by HTC significantly enhances the camera quality. It also supports simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, optical image stabilization. It is capable to take 1080p videos at 30fps and 720p videos at 60fps, there is HDR mode to capture high resolution photos and videos. Stereo sound recording is top-notch with secondary noise cancellation micro phone. The 4MP Ultra Pixel camera pairs with 2.1MP front facing camera which does come with wide angle lens so it is capable to record photos and videos with significantly better details than recent front cameras. It can shoot Full HD videos at 30fps and surprisingly, it supports HDR mode too.

In our in-depth tests, the 4MP Ultra Pixel camera does the job well. The resultant pictures are well detailed and auto focus is almost instant. There was no lag in taking the pictures. The continuous shots and other options helped a lot to capture the best photos. The low-lighting performance was best among all the currently available smartphones. Checkout below samples for better idea.

Benchmark Results :

Benchmarks always try to conclude the raw processing power of the device. These aren’t accurate but, will give some better idea on the device performance. Since it has top end hardware, it has grabbed top position among all the devices by scoring nearly 9140 score on popular Quadrant standard and it has managed to score 19877 on AnTuTu. We have provided detailed information in the form of images checkout.

Battery Life is the major issue for any smartphone user but not the same case here. The 2300mAh battery can provide enough juice for one day on moderate usage. We have tested it for one day by doing activities like 1hr 3G calling, 1hr web browsing (on Wi-Fi), 2 hrs music playback and 1hr HD video play back. In the meantime, we got few mails and other stuff but we easily got one complete day on moderate usage but for sure, heavy users should carry the external battery pack or charger (because it doesn’t have a removable battery) .

Pricing & Availability :

HTC One has been available in two editions since launch. The unlocked version will have 32GB internal storage and comes with locked boot loader, it is priced at $599 but if you want the HTC One for development, you have Developer Edition to choose, which comes with 64GB onboard storage and also has unlocked boot loader, it is available for purchase at $649. The device has been priced at Rs. 43,890 in India, walk into nearest HTC retailer for best price.

Coming to the stateside, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint are the carriers you can choose on 2-year new contract, checkout respective websites for official pricing. Verizon HTC One is on the way, may become official in early August. All versions are currently available, walk in to the nearest HTC retailer to purchase or visit to order it.

Verdict :

It is simple to say, the best Android smartphone i ever have had in my hands. The all metal unibody design, ideal 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display with insane 469 PPI, 4MP Ultra Pixel camera, BoomSound, faster Snapdragon 600 SoC, Sense 5.0 UI with its exclusive features, HTC One is the 2013’s best Android smartphone so far. If you want to try some thing traditional, you have Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z to pick over HTC One but before going to purchase those handsets, let you know one thing – both Galaxy S4 and Xperia Z are priced way higher than HTC One and Galaxy S4 lacks the premium quality construction and Xperia Z has poor Mobile Bravia engine so it obviously lacks the decent color saturation and there would be poor viewing angles too when compared to HTC One.

Pros :

• Beautiful 4.7-inch Super LCD3 display
• Crazy 469 PPI density
• Faster Snapdragon 600 SoC
• Sense 5.0 bring tons of useful features like BlinkFeed, Zoe
• BoomSound is top notch in delivering sounds (Thanks to Beats audio)
• All metal unibody shell
• Low-light camera performance is great

Cons :

• 4MP isn’t enough if you want to crop the photo
• No micro SD slot
• Awkwardly placed power button, hard to reach while holding mobile with one hand
• Poor video codec support out of the box